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This section contains questions regarding your citizenship and state of legal residence. These questions determine whether you are classified as a Texas resident or a non-resident. Let’s discuss the process for determining residency and what information is required of you in order to do so.

Texas Residency Rules and Regulations

When in processing, a residency specialist will review the application in greater detail to either confirm or change the system’s residency determination according to the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board rules for establishing residency


Proof of Residency

Bases for Claims of Texas Residency:

Option 1: Residency through Texas high school graduation
To establish residency through high school graduation, you must have: 

  1. Graduated from a Texas high school or received a GED in Texas; and
  2. Lived in Texas for the 36 months immediately before high school graduation; and
  3. Lived in Texas continuously for the 12 months immediately preceding the application deadline.

This option for establishing Texas residency is available to citizens or permanent residents of the US and to international students (with certain eligible visa types). 

Option 2: Residency by Establishing Domicile
To establish domicile, you or your parent(s) must meet the following criteria:

  1. Live in Texas for 12 consecutive months by the application deadline; and
  2. Establish and maintain domicile for 12 consecutive months prior to the application deadline, by doing one of the following:
    • Be gainfully employed in Texas (Definition)
    • Sole or joint marital ownership of residential real property in Texas by the person seeking to enroll or the dependent's parent, having established and maintained a domicile at the residence
    • Own and operate a business in Texas
    • Be married for one year to a person who has established domicile in Texas
If you file taxes as an independent... If your parents claim you as a dependent...
You may gain resident status if you establish domicile in the state. Your parents must establish domicile in the state for you to claim residency.  

*Gainful employment is employment intended to provide an income to a person or allow a person to avoid the expense of paying another person to perform the tasks (as in child care) that is sufficient to provide at least one-half of the individual’s tuition and living expenses or that represents an average of at least twenty hours of employment per week. A person who is self-employed, employed as a homemaker or who is living off his/her earnings may be considered gainfully employed for tuition purposes, as may a person whose primary support is public assistance. Employment conditioned on student status, such as work study, the receipt of stipends, fellowships, or research or teaching assistantships does not constitute gainful employment. 

important note

Supporting Documentation:

Click here for a list of documents to prove the establishment of residency through domicile. Have these documents ready as TMDSAS will need them to process your application.

  • Significant Gainful Employment (definition):
    • An employer's statement of dates of employment in Texas (beginning and current or ending dates) that encompass at least 12 consecutive months prior to the application deadline of the term in which the person enrolls and also indicates an average of at least 20 hours per week or pay stubs for 12 consecutive months prior to the application deadline indicating the hours worked per week, reflecting significant gainful employment in Texas, or proof of other earned income such as pensions, veterans' benefits, social security, and savings from previous earnings for 12 consecutive months prior to the application deadline.
    • However, employment conditioned on student status, such as work study, the receipt of stipends, fellowships, or research or teaching assistantships does not constitute gainful employment for the purposes of this subchapter.
  • Property Ownership:
    • Warranty Deed, Deed of Trust, or other similar instrument that is effective to hold title to residential real property in Texas.
  • Ownership of a Business Entity:
    • Documents that evidence the organization of the business in Texas that reflect the ownership interest of the person or dependent's parent, and the customary management of the business by the person or dependent's parent without the intention of liquidation for the foreseeable future.
  • Marriage to a Texas Resident:
    • Texas Marriage Certificate or Declaration of Registration of Informal Marriage with documentation to support that spouse has established and maintained domicile in Texas for 12 consecutive months prior to the application deadline of the term in which the person enrolls.


Residency Determination Process


  1. Initial System Determination:
    • The application generates an initial determination when the residency section of the application is complete, based on your responses. This determination is automatic, and computer generated.
      This determination is not final.
  2. During Processing, Application Reviewed:
    • While processing your application, TMDSAS staff will review the initial determination along with an in-depth review of all components of your application. If more information is needed to substantiate a claim of residency, you will be required to provide them in a timely manner.
    • If you have questions about the documents you are asked to provide, please reply to the instant message that was sent to you in the application portal.
  3. Residency Specialist Review:
    • The TMDSAS Residency Specialist will review the submitted documents and make an official determination accordingly.
  4. Residency Appeals:
    • If you are determined by the TMDSAS Residency Specialist to be a non-Texas resident, you have the option to appeal.
    • Please refer to our policies for information regarding the Residency Appeals. To initiate the process, follow the steps below.


Residency Appeals Process

The TMDSAS Residency Review Committee will review all appeals on a case-by-case basis and will make a residency determination that is final. 

  • Beginning an Appeal:
    • Include your name and TMDSAS ID #
    • Provide justification for how you meet one of the requirements for Texas residency as listed above.
    • Attach supporting documentation as listed here 
  • Click here to initiate an appeal.
  • How long does the residency appeal process take?
    • Residency appeal decisions will be made 10-15 business days after receipt of all required information and documentation.

For Permanent Residents or Visa Holders:

Applicants who are not U.S citizens MUST provide TMDSAS with a copy of their Permanent Resident card or Visa stamp in their passport. Your application will NOT be processed without this documentation. You must upload these directly to the application.

A non-U.S citizen must indicate their country of citizenship and complete the required information regarding their Visa. If your Permanent Resident card has no expiration date, enter the expiration date as ten years from the issue date.

Foreign national applicants whose application for Permanent Resident Status has been preliminarily reviewed should have received a fee/filing receipt or Notice of Action (I-797) from USCIS indicating the I-485 has been reviewed and has not been rejected. These applicants must submit a copy of the fee/filing receipt or Notice of Approval to TMDSAS. This documentation can be uploaded directly to the application.



Non-US Citizens or Permanent Residents

If the submitted information indicates you aren’t a U.S. citizen or permanent resident but that you may qualify for residency based on Texas high school graduation, you will be prompted by the application to download and submit the Residency Affidavit. It must be completed, signed, notarized and submitted to TMDSAS. 

Deferred Action Childhood Arrivals (DACA): If you have Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) status, you should select “None” when selecting your visa type/residency status. You will then indicate in the [Optional Question] at the end of the section that you have DACA status. You must also complete the Residency Affidavit, see that here.

Notice to applicants without U.S. citizenship or Permanent Resident status
The following medical schools will only review and consider for admissions applicants who are U.S. citizens or legal Permanent Residents of the U.S.: 


  • UT School of Dentistry at Houston
  • UT Dental School at San Antonio
  • Texas Tech University Woody L. Hunt School of Dentistry


  • Baylor College of Medicine
  • John Sealy School of Medicine at UTMB
  • Long School of Medicine, UT Health San Antonio
  • McGovern Medical School, UT Health at Houston
  • Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center School of Medicine
  • Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center - Paul L. Foster School of
  • Medicine at El Paso
  • Tilman J. Fertitta Family College of Medicine
  • University of North Texas - Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine
  • UT Austin Dell Medical School
  • UT Rio Grande Valley School of Medicine
  • UT Southwestern Medical School